It's an odd day in the annals of the Arizona legislature when members of the far-right John Birch Society -- a conspiratorial-minded organization obsessed with the "New World Order," the Federal Reserve, and the gold standard -- actually sound saner than the Republinuts in control of the state House and Senate. But today was that day.
Oblivious to the irony involved, moonhowlin' Snowflake state Senator Sylvia Allen was hell-bent on ramming through her "Border Security" committee one Senate Concurrent Resolution 1016, calling for a constitutional convention to craft an amendment "requiring approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate states to increase federal debt."
Never mind that Arizona is nearly $800 million in the hole for the current fiscal year, and is looking at projected shortfalls for subsequent years. It's a lot more fun wasting time on useless arguments about how a constitutional convention -- one that will never materialize -- might work.
Hey, it's not like Allen or the other wackadoodles in the state Senate have anything better to do, right? Not like they have jobs, or anything.
Two-thirds of the state legislatures would have to apply to the U.S. Congress with the same language to get this ball rolling. By the time that happens, state Senate President Russell Pearce will be rolling around on the Senate lawn, picking dandelions and doing his King Lear impersonation.
In other words, don't hold your breath.
John Birch Society member Jim Pinkerman from Mesa led the counterattack against the Tea Party types pushing the bill. Pinkerman's worry was, should a constitutional convention be called, there'd be no way to control it. And it could set about amending the constitution willy-nilly, maybe even sticking Obamacare in there.
Pinkerman and his confederates spoke before Allen's committee today, arguing against the SCR's passage.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
See, the Birchers are hip to these calls for what they refer to as "con-cons." (Clever, eh?) They've done their homework on this obscure and highly unlikely possibility, and are able to spit quotes from jurists and scholars across the political spectrum to buttress their interpretation of Article Five of the U.S. Constitution.
But it was no use. The state legislature these days is like an alternate, make-believe universe. Not unlike the one from Flash Gordon, where Ming the Merciless rules over the planet Mongo with an iron hand.
So, Allen and her confederates passed this wishful bit of fluff out of committee as if it were the most serious piece of legislation they'd ever dealt with.
What's that line? Neurotics build castles in the air, psychotics live in them. And state legislators? Apparently they keep the psychotics company.